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ARC UPDATE ON THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY HIGH-LEVEL EVENT ON AFRICA’S DEVELOPMENT NEEDS
TUESDAY, 4 MARCH 2008
The UN General Assembly met on Tuesday morning (4 March 2008) to approve the draft resolution on the “Modalities, format and organization of the high-level meeting on Africa’s development needs” (A/62/L.29/Rev.1). The draft resolution, proposed by Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, forms part of the General Assembly agenda item, “New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD): progress in implementation and international support.” The resolution follows from General Assembly’s resolutions A/RES/61/229 of 22 December 2006 and A/RES/62/179 of 19 December 2007, in which the Assembly decided to convene, during its sixty-third session in 2008, a high-level meeting on “Africa’s development needs: state of implementation of various commitments, challenges and the way forward.”

Ambassador John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda), on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, introduced the draft resolution, noting that much had been achieved by the way of sustainable development in Africa since the adoption of NEPAD. He said NEPAD continues to represent the collective determination of African countries to take control of their sustainable economic and social development. Ambassador Ashe outlined the operational elements of the draft resolution, highlighting that the outcomes of the High-Level Event would be a political declaration on Africa’s development needs. Speaking in explanation of position, Slovenia, for the European Union, said the political declaration should be a short and concise document and that informal consultations should not prejudice the outcomes of informal consultations on financing for development. The EU said it would welcome two co-facilitators to lead the informal consultation on the political declaration. Cape Verde, speaking on behalf of the African Group, expressed the hope that the high-level meeting would refocus the international community’s attention on Africa, as well as review and assess the scope and adequacy of global support for it.

The Assembly adopted the resolution by acclamation. 

Final Text: In its resolution (A.RES/L.29/Rev.1), the General Assembly decided that the high-level meeting will be held on 22 September 2008, prior to the general debate of the sixty-third session of the General Assembly. It also decided that the meeting will be held at the highest possible political level, including the participation of Heads of State or Government, ministers, special representatives and other representatives, as appropriate. It further decided that the high-level meeting will be composed of an opening plenary meeting, followed by two high-level round tables in the morning and two high-level round tables in the afternoon, which will address the overall theme of the meeting, and a closing plenary meeting.  

The General Assembly decided that the meeting will result in a political declaration on Africa’s development needs and requested the President of the General Assembly to produce a concise draft text in consultation with Member States and based on their inputs, and convene informals on the initial draft text at a date appropriate so as to enable sufficient discussion. The Assembly also requested the Secretary-General to submit to the meeting a comprehensive report, with recommendations, on “Africa’s development needs: state of implementation of various commitments, challenges and the way forward” in cooperation with relevant development agencies of the United Nations, the Bretton Woods institutions and other relevant regional and international financial and trade institutions.

ARC HLE Updates are published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <info@iisd.ca>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org>. ARC HLE Updates are part of IISD Reporting Service’s African Regional Coverage Project in partnership with the South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT), the UN Environment Programme’s Regional Office for Africa (UNEP ROA) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Programme Manager of the African Regional Coverage Project is Richard Sherman <rsherman@iisd.org>. Funding for the ARC has been provided by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development through the African Regional Coverage Project for IISD Reporting Service’s coverage of African regional meetings. IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in ARC HLE Updates do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Electronic versions of ARC HLE Updates are sent to the AFRICASD-L distribution list (in HTML format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <http://www.iisd.ca/africa/>. For information on ARC HLE Updates, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>,  +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11A, New York, NY 10022, USA.
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